Classic French Crème au Caramel

creme caramel

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
383 Calories
26g Fat
30g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 383
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 16g 79%
Cholesterol 186mg 62%
Sodium 86mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 7g
Calcium 126mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Creme caramel is a classic French dessert that is deliciously creamy custard topped with caramel. The custard and caramel are all cooked in the same little ramekin, upside-down cake style. The custard is chilled, and flipped and the beautiful caramel pours down the sides of the custard. 

Creme caramel and flan are often interchanged. They are essentially the same dish, although flan typically refers to the Spanish style of this custard. Both include a caramel and a custard and are cooked in the same way. The custard is very similar to the custard in creme brulee but no caramelized sugar is added at the end. Instead it is baked right along with the custard. 

This silky, elegant custard makes for a show-stopping dessert, but can also be enjoyed as an afternoon snack. Everything is made ahead of time, so it will make dessert after dinner super easy and quick.


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    creme caramel ingredients
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F. Add 1 cup of the sugar to a saucepan. Add the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of water to the sugar. Heat on medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spoon or swirl the pan until it is a deep brown, about 6-8 minutes. Be very careful and do not leave the pot as the caramel can burn very easily.

    caramel cooking in a saucepan
  3. Equally divide the caramel into the bottom of each ramekin. You will need 4-5 6 ounce ramekins. Swirl to coat the bottom and just barely up the side. Set aside.

    caramel in a ramekin
  4. Add the milk and heavy cream to a separate saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat until just hot, not boiling. Then remove from the heat.

    milk heating in a saucepan
  5. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until combined.

    eggs whisked in a bowl
  6. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, a ladleful at a time until completely incorporated into the eggs. Whisk in the salt and vanilla extract.

    milk whisked with egg
  7. Pour the custard over the caramel in each ramekin.

    custard in a ramekin
  8. Add the ramekins to a roasting pan. Very carefully pour boiling water  into the bottom of the roasting pan, avoiding splashing or pouring into the ramekins.

    custard in a roasting pan
  9. Place on the bottom rack of your oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the custard still jiggles but is just set.

    Remove from the roasting pan using tongs or a hot pad. Allow to cool slightly and then wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

    creme caramel in ramekins
  10. Use a sharp knife to loosen the custard along the edge of the ramekin. Flip onto a plate and serve immediately.

    custard loosened by a knife

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